A system of safety?
This post concludes my series and draws some conclusions on the Thinking Environment as a System for psychological safety.
Over the last few years I have watched as we have embraced the Thinking Environment within our Organisation. Slowly but surely, it has become the way that we do things. And as it has, I have seen the quality of relationships improve, safety increase, and people become more and more able to be themselves.
I have quietly observed people come out of their shells who used to assume that their thinking was not worth sharing. I’ve watched as people have gradually become more comfortable challenging established thinking and uncovering the things that we do badly. Better still, I have watched ideas blossom and thinking thrive.
I’m continuing to observe a shift towards greater accountability, combined with a greater responsibility taken by everyone to come up with solutions to their own problems.
All of this, I believe, because everyone feels far safer to think for themselves and as themselves than they used to. The Thinking Environment, and consistent application of the Ten Components, has been the foundational system that has underpinned this.
I think sometimes that Thinking Environment ideas can feel a bit fluffy when people first hear them. A “nice to have, if we have some spare time” in organisations. I am coming to see this way of being, the principles and practices, as an incredibly practical way to build the foundations needed for any team to thrive and perform. Nothing fluffy about that!
I observe time and time again, when I am in a Thinking Environment, how safe I feel. As comfortable to be as open with virtual strangers as I am with close friends. Even more so in some cases.
I hope I have illustrated through this series, how increasing the presence of any one of the Ten Components will improve the level of safety in our relationships, whether personal or professional. If we can skilfully master the ability to hold all ten for those we are with then, over time, we can really build Trust and increase safety exponentially.
In turn, we can ignite the Thinking of all of those around us.
Just imagine the potential!
In late 2021 I held a conversation with some of the team at Emery Little, the business I reference throughout these posts. In it, we discuss the impact the Thinking Environment has had on psychological safety, leadership, new joiners, decision making and more. You can find it here.
Click below for links to other blogs in this series